News Publishers Go To War With the Internet — and We All Lose

Around the world, news industry trade associations are corruptly cashing in their political capital — which they have because their members are newspapers, and politicians are scared of them — in desperate acts of protectionism to attack platform companies. The result is a raft of legislation that will damage the internet and in the end hurt everyone, including journalists […]

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Regulating the net is regulating us

Here are three intertwined posts in one: a report from inside a workshop on Facebook’s Oversight Board; a follow-up on the working group on net regulation I’m part of; and a brief book report on Jeff Kosseff’s new and very good biography of Section 230, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. Facebook’s Oversight Board Last […]

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A Crisis of Cognition

In journalism, we think our job is to “get the story.” We teach the skill of “knowing what a story is.” We call ourselves “storytellers.” We believe that through stories — or as we also like to say when feeling uppish, “narrative”— we attract and hold attention, impart facts in engaging fashion, and explain the world. My […]

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Proposals for Reasonable Technology Regulation and an Internet Court

I have seen the outlines of a regulatory and judicial regime for internet companies that begins to make sense to me. In it, platforms set and are held accountable for their standards and assurances while government is held to account for its job — enforcing the law — with the establishment of internet courts. I have not […]

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Media Education and Change

Lately I’ve been scolding myself that I have not been radical enough — yes, me, not nearly radical enough — about rethinking journalism in our still-emerging new reality of a connected world. And if journalism requires rebuilding, then so does journalism education and all of media education. Every fall, when I am lucky enough to talk with our entire […]

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Europe Against the Net

I’ve spent a worrisome weekend reading three documents from Europe about regulating the net: The revived, revised, and worsened Articles 11 and 13 of the European Copyright Directive and Julia Reda’s devastating review of the impact. The Cairncross Review of the state of journalism and the net in the UK. The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ […]

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Scorched Earth

I just gave a talk in Germany where a prominent editor charged me with being a doomsayer. No, I said, I’m an optimist … in the long run. In the meantime, we in media will see doom and death until we are brutally honest with ourselves about what is not working and cannot ever work again. Then we can […]

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Journalism is the conversation. The conversation is journalism.

I am sorely disappointed in The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, CNN’s Brian Stelter, and other journalists who these days are announcing to the world, using the powerful platforms they have, that they think journalists should “disengage” from the platform for everyone else, Twitter. No. It is the sacred duty of journalists to listen to the public […]

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We Have Met the Problem. Guess Who?

Here is chapter I contributed to the Hackademic 2018 book, Anti-Social Media?: The Impact on Journalism and Society. I’ve used various ideas in this in other posts recently. I’m leaving the British  spelling because it just might make me seem smarter.  In all the urgent debate about regulating, investigating, and even breaking up internet companies, we have lost sight of the problem we are trying to confront: not technology but instead human behaviour on it, the bad acts […]

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A Rising Moral Panic

This is just what I fear: fear itself. See that exchange above. Nick Thompson, the very impressive editor-in-chief of Wired, touted a column by one of his writers who idly wondered whether the #10YearChallenge meme could be a conspiracy created by Facebook to get us chumps to provide it with photos and data to enable […]

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